According to the research conducted by Social Insights,
- There are 2.3 billion active users on social media, and
- 9 billion of them are mobile users.
If, due to any reason, you’re not able to make use of popular social networks and if your business doesn’t make use of social media marketing to its full potential, there is no need to panic. Social networks are going nowhere. And they’re going to stay longer.
But still, you need to take these stats seriously. Your competitors might have a social media strategy in place and they must be seeing a hidden opportunity to win your customers over.
The question is, what tactics should you implement to win more customers and boost your sales?
So, we’ve gathered these 21 marketing trends that will change the game in 2017.
1. Social Messaging
Private social messaging has become more common than any other marketing tactic, and 2017 will see more of such messages. If you’re not convinced, take a look at these stats from DreamGrow:
- Only WhatsApp has over 1.2 billion active users per month, and
- Facebook Messenger as just over 1 billion monthly active users.
- Compared to these two apps combined, active users on all popular social networks are far less in number.
People like using private social messages rather than communicating or engaging on social media. That’s why these messaging apps have more active monthly users than the top social networks.
If you look at the statistics, you’ll be surprised to notice that one-fourth of all the apps were uninstalled as soon as after the single usage, but messaging apps tend to last longer in mobiles.
So, consider using messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, QQ Chat, WeChat and others etc.
2. Virtual Reality
We all know, VR is the most sought after technology these days. It’s still in its early days and its popularity keeps on growing day by day. Interestingly, popular brands like Facebook, vTime and GoPro have been investing religiously in virtual reality they’re the ones making it grow.
- vTime is the first VR-powered network. You can interact with your friends in a virtual location and get a unique experience of social networking.
- You can see many VR Clips on GoPro’s YouTube channel.
- TOMS are doing it just like GoPro.
It’s not a new thing that videos are more popular than any other content and VR is an extension that brings immersive experience. So, VR trend can make your brand a real hit if you capitalized on it.
3. Social Ecommerce
Do you know that social media is the second most useful network for the users who want to buy online? All leading networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter etc. allow their users to use their apps to buy products online. In fact, customers show their interest in buying directly from these sites.
Take a look at another research conducted by Animoto. It says, 84% of the consumers liked at least one company video and 4 times as many consumers watch a product video.
- Twitter tested “Buy” button feature and the response was awesome.
- More than 31% of the consumers used WeChat to purchase online.
- Snapchat is another one testing its ecommerce feature.
So, if you get your brand ready to sell on social networks, there is a huge opportunity for you to increase your sales exponentially.
4. Live Video
Have you noticed how live video took Facebook by storm? People are going crazy about this new feature. Among others, Twitter and Instagram came up with the similar feature in 2016.
It’s not the end because top social networks have shown their interest in immersive videos.
- Facebook is looking ahead to launch 360-degree video feature for live users.
- It will be available soon. YouTube already has this feature.
- If you’re on Vimeo, you’d be aware that they have launched 360-degree video for users who have VR headsets.
So, this is a great opportunity for you if you explore live video feature. You can easily expand your reach on top social networks. In fact 43% businesses have plans for investing in interactive videos in 2017.
5. Ephemeral Content
This breed of content has a very small life. It stays live for a few moments, or at most, up to 24 hours.
- Disappearing content trend has been introduced by Snapchat and it was quite an experience.
- Instagram is another social network where you can find similar videos and messages.
Considering the popularity of these social networks and the engagement people show with the ephemeral content, it’s likely to stay in 2017.
What’s in it for you? You can prepare disappearing brand-related content and boost your engagement on these networks.
A chatbot is a chatting robot that interacts with online users. In reality, it’s a computer program. It helps businesses to interact with their customers and solve their queries in real-time. Because of a large number of customers on social media, businesses are switching to chatbots so that they can interact with every customer on their profile page.
So, which social network has launched it and how is it helping businesses?
- Facebook is the first to launch a chatbot for Messenger.
- Slack is another network where chatbots are being used.
You can use chatbot and customize it according to your needs. It will help you win the confidence of customers and make them loyal to you.
7. Social Advertising
Social networks are smart enough to personalize the social content users love to see. In a way, it poses a challenge for new businesses to get their posts viewed. So, here’s a solution. You can spend on social advertising and promote your brand in targeted regions and countries.
- According to Content Marketing Institute, social ads earned over $1.5 billion worth of revenues in 2016.
- In United States, the amount spent on social advertising is expected to surpass $11 billion in 2017.
- Social media ad spending worldwide is expected to go beyond $41 billion in 2017.
It’s time you should be thinking seriously on promoting your brand on social media.
8. Sites Sharing Fake News Will Be Dealt With Seriously
Whether its print media, electronic media or the Internet, News remains popular on all marketing formats. Internet seems more favorite in this regard as 90% of the people use it to get latest news. However, there’s always a chance of Fake News and being redirected to websites that have no better purpose.
Anyhow, Facebook has taken strong actions against such websites. Moreover, Germany has made its intentions clear that such websites will be fined for publishing fake news on social networks. Soon, there will be more countries and networks joining the fight.
So, if you have any plans of any such method, Beware!
9. Mobile Ads
Mobile ads will grow in 2017. That’s obvious, since mobile users are increasing exponentially. Therefore, businesses are investing on mobile ads on social networks.
Twitter and Facebook are generating 60%-80% of ad revenue through mobile ads. You need to create a social advertising strategy that also has room for mobile ads.
10. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is another subject that’s been getting quite an attention. Brands like Facebook, Snapchat, Google, LinkedIn, and IBM have been investing heavily in AI. And soon there will be many other social networks in the competition.
In fact, the investment in AI is expected to increase three times in 2017. There’s an opportunity for businesses as they’ll have better resources to interact with their customers.
11. Employee Advocacy will Rise
It’s not a new thing, but employee advocacy has been progressing relatively slow as compared to other marketing ploys. It’s a simple brand promotion, but it’s done by company’s employees. And it’s pretty effective.
- More than 30% of fast-growing businesses have formal program for employee advocacy, and
- Approximately, one out of every five employees is an employee advocate.
Since 2013, there has been a significant rise in this form of marketing – 191% to be precise. Moreover, close to 50% of businesses mentioned they consider employee advocacy as their major marketing tool.
As social networks are growing and messaging apps are getting more attention, employee advocacy has become more important for the businesses so they can expand their reach and engage with customers.
12. Snapchat Will Lose Its Users to Instagram
Now, that’s interesting!
Instagram offers has lots of features on offer as compared to Snapchat. You can use permanent portfolio and use Facebook’s insights for advertising on Instagram.
This is the reason why experts predict, all Snapchat users will shift to Instagram by the end of 2017. And Facebook will grow with Instagram too.
So, if you have an account on Snapchat, be prepared to shift it to Instagram.
13. Business Features will be Prioritized
Businesses use social networks so they need social media analytics to track their performance.
- According to one research, 36% of businesses analyze their activities on social media.
- Another one says 92% use social media analytics to track their marketing activities.
Social networks understand this and they will come up with much better tools in 2017.
For instance, Instagram launched its analytic tool in 2016. Other networks will soon follow the same trend, because losing businesses would be the last thing they want.
Better business tools means more growth opportunities for you.
14. Skills Gap is Widening
As social networks are getting advanced, skills gap is getting wider. According to Capgemini Consulting, 90% businesses believed their employees lack necessary skills to use important social media tools. By looking at the present trend, the gap continues to grow wider because businesses are not paying attention to train their employees on digital marketing.
This is an opportunity in disguise. If you start giving social media training to your employees, they’ll be able to explore interesting features and contribute to your growth.
15. Era of Personalized Content
In 2017 you will see personalized content ruling across all social media platforms. Consumers like personalized offers so they can keep their activities private. More than 60% U.S consumers are inclined on receiving personalized offers and 70% get frustrated with irrelevant content.
- To bring relevance in their content, businesses will definitely invest in business tools to gather insights.
- Businesses will obviously retarget their consumers with better campaigns and personalized offers.
16. More CEOs will Enter Social Networks
It wasn’t the trend until 2016. But things have changed since Facebook came up with Business Influencer program that attracted big names like Meg Whitman, CEO, HP Enterprise. LinkedIn’s program also attracted more than 500 public figures and CEOs.
The influence of CEOs will make large number of people join social networks as their followers. So, the networks will grow exponentially in 2017. In short, there will be a bigger pool for you to target your audience.
17. Social Influencers
Social influencers will increase in 2017. That’s because people don’t like to see annoying ads. But they like a brand that’s being promoted by their favorite celebrity or industry-leader. So, influencer marketing is more than likely to grow on social networks.
18. Acquisition and Merger
One thing is obvious, you will see more social networks being taken over by giant networks in 2017.
We’ve already seen that:
- Facebook acquired Oculus Rift, WhatsApp, Instagram, and other businesses.
- LinkedIn was taken over by Microsoft
- Periscope merged into Twitter
So, the tension will rise among smaller networks, especially the startups.
These mergers also result in improved features and better functionality of the network. What you should be focusing is, channelize your marketing budget as well as content according to the things happening in social media.
19. Difficult to Acquire Organic Social Traffic
Top social networks use smart algorithms to present relevant content, just like search engines. Facebook made many changes in its algorithm throughout 2016. So, acquiring organic traffic on social will be much harder in 2017. So, there’s no option but to use ads on such channels where you don’t get organic traffic so easily.
20. Standardization of Platforms
Every social network tends to copy new features or functionality of another network. Users are getting almost similar features on major social media sites.
- Facebook has been testing disappearing messages in Facebook Messenger
- YouTube has been testing community feature just like Facebook.
- Instagram has launched Stories, like Snapchat.
This means social networks are heading towards a standardized platform. So, if you already familiar with one social network, you can use another network quite easily.
21. Better Customer Experience
Do you know that majority of customers still believe, only 1% of all the brands can deliver products/services according to their expectations? So, how can you make a customer-centric organization when customers don’t trust you? These stats will help you reach your decision:
- 63% millennials rely on social networks to get latest updates about their favorite brands.
- 51% millennials believe their purchase decisions are influenced by social opinions.
That means, your social media page should be updated on regular basis. It must be well-managed and customer-centric. You need to be on your toes to provide quick response to your customers.
All these facts and figures show that social media is getting more and more powerful with time. So, you need to create a sound strategy to capture your audience across top social networks. Invest in social media marketing and see how it will pay you back.